I know it’s September, but we’re bound to have some more really hot days before the summer is truly over. This time of year cucumbers are all over the farmer’s markets, and because of the way cucumbers are built they actually do stay cool inside. I like to cook, but when it gets this hot out I don’t like turning on the stove. Lately I’ve been making multiple variations on this simple cucumber salad, which is almost a quick pickle. Feel free to customize it to your taste.
Start by slicing the cucumbers or cutting them into chunks, depending on what you want. Some cucumbers have thicker skins than others, so you might want to peel them first. Thick cucumber skins aren’t bad for you, but they can be unpleasantly bitter. After prepping the cucumbers put them into a colander, pt the colander into the sink, and pour salt on them. A lot of salt. Make sure all of the cucumbers are coated, and then let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. Don’t worry, you’re not going to eat all of that salt, but the liquid in the cucumbers will be drawn out by the salt, then some of the salty water will be drawn back into the cukes, seasoning them. While they get salty, make a quick dressing. I like using rice wine vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, and some chili-garlic sauce.
After letting them sit rinse the cucumbers thoroughly — get all of the surface salt off. Put the cucumbers into a bowl and pour the dressing over them. Mix well, and then put the bowl into the fridge for another 20-30 minutes. This last part is really just to make sure the cucumbers are nice and cold again, the salad is ready to eat as soon as you’ve dressed it. For other variations try using different types of vinegar, maybe add some minced fresh garlic, or fresh chili peppers. You don’t have to make it spicy, but spicy foods also help cool down the body.